Magnifique Lunch at Le Coucou

Magnifique Lunch at Le Coucou

It wasn’t easy getting a lunch reservation at the ultra hot Le Coucou in Manhattan but the trouble was worth it. From the moment I arrived with my lunch companions, two chefs, the experience was nearly flawless.

The space is absolutely gorgeous with countless giant chandeliers, ultra posh details yet in a warm, unassuming way. Exposed brick walls/ceilings worked surprisingly well next to polished silver, great glassware and luxuriously-upholstered chairs and banquettes. This place is a showplace for the rich and beautiful…a spot to see and been seen.

The service is helpful and professional. We thought the sheer number of folks who waited on us caused some miscommunication but overall, good service. 

Lunch consists of a two-course prix fixe menu for $48, quite a bargain for this type of restaurant. The wine list was interesting with lesser known options and cult classics. It’s obviously heavy on French wine but also peppered with South American, new world European and even Finger Lakes bottles.

Our starters were the Poireaux, leeks with hazelnuts, the Asperges et Thon, asparagus, bigeye tuna with smoked wood vinegar and the Anguille Frite au Sarrasin, buckwheat fried Montauk eel with curry vinaigrette. All three were on point with my favorite being the leeks that were perfectly cooked and topped with crunchy hazelnut. The asparagus were both thinly cut on the bias and served whole with slices of pristine tuna. The eel was crunch but somewhat blend on its own but paired nicely with the unusual curry vinaigrette.

Our entrées were the Halibut Beurre Blanc served over daikon choucroute, the Navarin de Lotte, monkfish in a mussel broth with spring vegetables and the Pot au Feu de Lapin, rabbit served in rabbit leg bouillon with winter vegetables. We opted for the addition of foie gras in the rabbit ‘stew’ and would have preferred to get a beautifully-seared serving of foie, but the overall dish was lovely with well-cooked rabbit. The sizable portion of halibut was our favorite with its luscious beurre blanc which contasted perfectly with the daikon sauerkraut. The monkish was a solid dish, but not as impressive as the others.

For dessert, we opted for a three cheese selection, a Baba au Rhum and a chocolate tart with caramel ice cream. All the cheeses were outstanding with my favorite being an aged Gouda from Wisconsin. The baba was a much lighter version of the dense, Rum-packed version we’ve enjoyed in the past and a good way to serve this dish on a hot day. The chocolate tart was rich and deeply-chocolaty with creamy, perfect ice cream.

I’m looking forward to returning to Le Coucou for dinner and to sample some of the amazing red Burgundies on the wine list.




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